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null CSC's sensitive data services are now open for researchers’ use

CSC's sensitive data services are now open for researchers’ use

The CSC's new sensitive data service family is now available to researchers and R&D activities. The service family is designed to meet the needs of cross-organisational collaboration.

The new service family has the high level of security required by the data. The service supports compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and sensitive data will remain within the borders of Finland.

Image: Adobe Stock

Sensitive data can mean data containing personal information that can be directly linked to a specific individual. Examples of sensitive data include a person's health records and medical records, genomic data and data relating to a person's ethnic origin, political or religious beliefs or sexual orientation. Sensitive data includes also data under intellectual property rights or otherwise classified information. CSC's sensitive data services apply to all sensitive data.

– CSC's Sensitive Data Services family makes it easier than ever to handle sensitive research data securely. It provides research projects with an efficient processing environment to invite partners across organisational and national borders, without the risk of data falling into the wrong hands. Our main goal in developing these services has been to support the rights of research subjects and the high ethical quality of Finnish research, says Development Manager Ilkka Lappalainen at CSC.

The first parts of the service, SD Connect (Sensitive Data Connect) and SD Desktop, were opened as beta versions for open beta testing in June 2021 and now the full release versions of these services are public. SD Submit and SD Apply have been piloted since autumn 2021 and will be released in open beta by autumn. FEGA, the Federated European Genome-phenome Archive, will be released before autumn.

  • SD Desktop is a web browser-based remote desktop that provides a secure operating environment for sensitive data
  • SD Connect is a tool for transferring data to a secure operating environment
  • SD Submit is for the publication of sensitive data
  • SD Apply is for licensing data to other researchers
  • FEGA (Federated European Genome-phenome Archive) is a service for storing and sharing all types of biomedical data consented for research but not for fully public dissemination.

The development of SD services has especially focused on feedback from higher education institutions and research organizations on the needs of processing sensitive data.

In the future, the CSC will aim to audit SD service family to a level that enables the secure processing of data such as data authorized for research by the Social and Health Data Permit Authority Findata, data from Statistics Finland, and genomic and imaging data from biobanks.

The new services are also designed to be interoperable with Nordic and European services. Their development has been funded in particular through the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC) and the ELIXIR research infrastructure of life sciences. The Ministry of Education and Culture enables the services to users free of charge.

CSC will organise a webinar and workshop “CSC Sensitive Data Services for research” on 5th of May. During the workshop, you will familiarise with the SD Connect and SD Desktop user interfaces via a simple hands-on experience. More information and registration

More information

CSC's sensitive data services home page

Heidi Laine, Data Services Customer Solution Manager, CSC
heidi.laine at csc.fi, +358405139593

Ilkka Lappalainen, Development Manager, Sensitive Data Services, CSC
ilkka.lappalainen at csc.fi, +358503818525